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Live Where You Belong

And you belong to God! 1 Corinthians 3.12-23

1 Corinthians 3 (6)

Pray Psalm 40.4, 5.
Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust,
And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.

Sing Psalm 40.4, 5.
(Dix: For the Beauty of the Earth)
Blessed are all who trust in You, turning both from lies and pride.
Countless wonders, LORD, You do, and Your thoughts with us abide.
LORD, Your worth who can declare? None with You can e’er compare.

Read 1 Corinthians 3.1-23; meditate on verse 21-23.

1. Why should the Corinthians not boast in men?

2. To whom do they belong?

Those who believe in Jesus belong to Him and through Him, to God the Father (v. 23). We have the mind of Christ, the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Every day God says to us, “I have called you by your name, and you are Mine!” (Jer. 43.1). We are not our own; we have been bought with the blood of Jesus, and we belong to Him (1 Cor. 6.19).

We belong to God. We have been seated with Jesus in heavenly places (Eph. 2.6). Paul’s point, as he wraps up his case against the Corinthians’ worldly ways, is that, since we belong to God, we should live like those who belong to Him, boasting only in Him and accepting as gifts all that He daily supplies (v. 22). And that includes all those gifted teachers and leaders who fulfill their ministry by pointing us to God and urging us to live as those who belong to Him.

How absurd to boast in mere men (v. 21), every one of whom will die or already has. We do not belong to men, as if they were our masters and we their servants. We belong to Jesus, and those who belong to Him look only to Him, boast only in Him, praise and bless Him alone, and live to turn the eyes of others to Him.

If we were more focused on Jesus, our differences would not divide us. We would gladly share our gifts with one another—the world, our lives, all that we have in the present, our soon passage to glory, and all the great people who shape our souls for Jesus—and offer them all up in praise to God through Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

We belong to God; let us live for Him only.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162.
Slow down. Read and assimilate those words:
“You are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor. 3.23).

Think about it. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, doodles your name in His Book of Life (Rev. 21.27), thinking about you. He loved you so much, He was willing to die a heinous death for you, conquer death, and rise to rule the world for you. He invites you to live in His Kingdom. He is preparing a place for you. He is coming again to get you and take you to this home in His glorious Kingdom (Jn. 14.1-4). Now really, have you ever heard anything more spectacular?

Jesus said, “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me” (Matt. 10.40). Just as Paul said, “Christ is God’s” (1 Cor. 3.23).

We belong to Christ. Christ belongs to God. He is our Shepherd.
We will not want for love from Him.
He makes us lie down in beautiful green and peaceful pastures;
He leads us beside pure and still waters.
He restores our soul.
He leads us in the paths of righteousness,
for His name’s sake.
Even when we walk through difficult, dangerous, even deadly times
we won’t fear evil; because we know that He is truly with us.
We are comforted by His guidance and discipline.
He prepares a sumptuous feast for us
where our enemies can observe His bountiful care.
He gently anoints us with His mercy and tenderness—
our cup overflows with His goodness.
His goodness and mercy are poured upon us
so that those gifts will follow us
wherever we go.
We will leave the fragrance of His love behind us.
This is what dwelling with God looks like. Forever. (Ps. 23.1-6).

When we truly know that we are Christ’s, it changes how we experience our life, and how we perceive and receive others. We will safely rest in belonging to Him, for “The eternal God is our refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut. 33.27).

“You are Mine” (Jer. 43.1). Yes, I belong to Him.

For reflection
1. How would you explain to a friend what it means to you to belong to God?

2. What privileges and blessings does this belonging bring to you?

3. Whom will you encourage today to think more closely about what it means to belong to God?

If we belong to Christ, and are true to him, all good belongs to us, and is sure to us. Believers are the subjects of his kingdom. He is Lord over us, we must own his dominion, and cheerfully submit to his command. God in Christ, reconciling a sinful world to himself, and pouring the riches of his grace on a reconciled world, is the sum and substance of the gospel.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3.21-23

Pray Psalm 40.1-3, 6-10.
Thank God that you belong to Him through Jesus Christ. Make this a day of boasting in the Lord. Ask the Lord to give you opportunities to encourage other believers and to talk with unbelieving friends about Jesus.

Sing Psalm 40.1-3, 6-10.
(Dix: For the Beauty of the Earth)
I waited patiently for God; He inclined and heard my cry,
lifted me up above the sod, set me on a Rock on high!
New songs in my mouth He gave; may He through me many save.

Off’rings You do not require – open now my ears, O LORD!
What from me do You desire? Firm delight to do Your Word.
Take my life in ev’ry part; write Your Law upon my heart.

LORD, Your truth will I proclaim to Your people gathered ‘round,
nor will I my lips restrain – let Your precious ways resound!
Of Your saving grace and Word I would speak, most loving LORD.

T. M. and Susie Moore

The Church in Corinth was in need of revival. But there was much to be done before that would happen. The Church today is in need of revival, and the same is true for us. Our book, Revived!, can help us to discern our need for revival and lead us in getting there. Order your copy by clicking here.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable free by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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